Well… we were off to a great start but we have kind of fizzled out here in Guangzhou. Jie-jie, mei-mei and I are all feeling under the weather so we ended up canceling our plans last night (dinner with mei-mei’s teacher) and today (various walks, 2 sets of dinner plans, etc). Jason wrestled with a stomach ailment earlier in the week and is feeling fine now so he did get to visit with folks. The rest of us are experiencing indigestion (likely as our digestive flora try to sort everything out). Additionally mei-mei has the classic guangzhou runny nose, cough and fever. Instead of going for antibiotics straight away, I am going to give her a couple of days of Hong Kong’s sea air (rated very polluted but still better than GZ).
In a way this is a fitting end to our visit to China – it may not be the rosy wonderful time we were having at the beginning but it was a cozy conclusion. The kids and I spent the day snuggling on the sofa and watching bootleg Disney movies in Chinese. It is also fairly representative of our time here last year – we were often under the weather by the time the weekend rolled around. In Hessler’s River Town he talks about all the illnesses he had during his 2 years in Fuling including chronic sinusitis, amebic dysentery and tuberculosis – in many cases these illnesses are related to the pollution and non-potable water. In our stint last year, jie-jie had routine sinus infections while mei-mei tended toward bronchitis and pneumonia. Although the air quality is visibly better this year, we have still not escaped illness and I wonder how the Chinese cope. Are our constitutions particularly weak or are the Chinese just constantly ill?